on 13 February 2011
There is a wealth of literature in circulation elaborating the challenges faced by the 21st century citizien - from the stability of our climate, to the safety of our streets and the state of our health. However, few have looked to the individual rather than the state as the basis of solving these problems. In this gently and thoughtfully persuasive book Dr. Stoneham looks at these and other challenges through the lense of the "wounded healer" - making the argument that not only does true change come from individuals rather than states, but also that individuals who have themselves suffered are best placed to make that change. As the power of the internet makes social networks an increasingly and visibly powerful part of our world, this is a timely and thought provoking book.
on 25 February 2011
This is a genuine book from a genuinely passionate author. The book brings world problems into sharp focus, and makes you want to take action to make things better. I think about the subjects in this book everyday, and feel that everyone should read it and take action, the world would be a better place as a result. Even though religion is a strong theme in this book, I read it from a more of a scientific and spirituality point of view. it is written in a way that is not intrusive to individual beliefs, religious or not. The subjects covered are ones that affect us all, from environmental change to strength of community and economics, and what we can do ourselves to help 'heal the wounded Earth'. Passionately written, and full of powerful references.
on 26 February 2011
As a healthcare professional, I was particularly interested in the concept of `the wounded healer' and its unique application to our `fractured world' Clearly, this work does not disappoint as Dr Eleanor Stoneham, compellingly describes how, by not becoming conscious of our own wounding, we either hit out at the social and physical environment which could protect and heal us or cut ourselves off from our pain by becoming unconscious to it.
Eleanor Stoneham's personal ground embraces social, economical and ethical areas. She is a science research postgraduate of Sheffield University, a qualified chartered accountant, tax practitioner and a verger in the Anglican Church.
This work persuasively, passionately, yet gently wakens us up from the myth that we can do very little to affect change, or become part of the change we want to see. But, by no means is this a work that compounds upon any guilt we have about `not doing enough. Instead Eleanor, word by word, idea by idea, draws us into an entire web of hope of the things individuals, nations, spiritual and ecological communities are doing to enact healing and beauty. Far from being the sad sorry world that chisels out endless litanies of despair worldwide, there are groups of normal people like you and I who have chosen to act and plant seeds of hope on the broken places. Included in her work, is a vast repository of websites, papers, books which underpin her thesis.
But, she urges, we need to act.
In her chapter on the hope of a healed economy, she writes, "We must never lose sight of our part as individual players in the world economy. Whether we like it or not, we are all involved as consumers and investors." She adds; "The most effective and immediate impact we can all make is through changing our spending patterns. We are all in control of how we save, invest and spend, whether we choose ethical, products, or not'
With knowledge and insight, she produces an extensive chapter on `The History of Soul Medicine' and how this was based on `the wounded healer, from the mythological God Chiron, to the indigenous shamanic tribes whose expertise and skill came from their own inner battling with their wounds. She gives incidents of wounded healers throughout history, from Christ to Beethoven who suffered from depression and deafness, but wrote such compellingly beautiful music. Additionally, she defines the distinctions between healing and curing and the need to return `soul' and `spirituality' to the hospital care system that reduces patients to statistics. In turn, the patient needs to be encouraged to take responsibility for their own dis-ease of body or soul and find the message that is waiting for them there. I am reminded here of King Pallas, the Fisher King, in the Arthurian legends, was a healer but could not heal his own wounds. Indeed, Eleanor Stoneham, describes how her own dis-ease of body, mind and soul, led to a breakdown and she has certainly produced a `breakthrough' in writing this work, truly demonstrating her role as a wounded healer.
She also writes about creativity and some of the forerunners in creativity where eco-poets and writers such as |Helen Moore, Mary Oliver and Gary Snyder describe the responsibility they feel in bringing something of value into the world. In the chapter, Healing Creativity, she describes how Henri Nouwen, whose work The wounded healer underpinned much of her own journey, describes the impact of viewing a work of Rembrandt's, The Return of the Prodigal Son, had on him after a gruelling lecture tour. Seeing this picture, spoke to him on such a deep level that he experienced a complete new lease of life.
Dr Stoneham's work is refreshing, relentlessly explorative and resonates deeply with that wounded part of ourselves that believes there is very little we can do to alleviate the suffering in our environment and the world.
This is not a work embedded in the doom and gloom culture. It is a finely crafted repository of resources and ideas which invite the reader to make use of a vast emerging global network affecting change through bringing our conscience into alignment with all we can do. I cannot recommend this fine book highly enough. It is truly inspirational.
on 20 July 2014
This book is one of the most educational and inspirational works I have read. As a Christian, the powerful and persuasive messages that Dr. Stoneham sends resonate deeply within me especially the seeds of hope she plants in the reader for a better future world.
The book is beautifully crafted and Dr Stoneham's passion and genuine beliefs inspire me (undoubtedly it will other readers) to want to take more action to make the world a better place. As a strong believer in God, I am impressed by the inclusive approach in the exploration of and drawing from many religious and spiritual traditions.
One only has to turn on the television, listen to the radio or read the newspapers to understand what a sorry state the world is in. Every day there is news of an atrocity of one kind or another. Dr Stoneham believes that many of the world's problems are caused by our own bad behaviour and flowing from our 'unhealed woundedness'. This point is explored in depth, concluding that by rediscovering our spirituality, transforming ourselves individually and developing our creativity in our lives, a solution to problems, individual or worldwide, can be found. The message that the 'wounded healer' plays an important if not pivotal role in the healing of others is clear and persuasive.
Dr Stoneham's book is thought-provoking, highly persuasive and written with great insight by someone who has, herself, suffered and who can empathise with the suffering of others.
It is a book that everyone must read. I have been deeply inspired by it and I will read it over and over again. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
on 2 May 2011
When we look at the news and assess the state of the world, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that human civilization is sick, and through our sickness we are deeply wounding the Earth. I have no doubt that the Living Planet will survive whatever humanity throws at it, but I am not so confident that the self-styled species Homo sapiens will survive. It is this strand of pessimism that Eleanor Stoneham sets out to counter with messages of hope from many quarters.
The world's problems, she argues, are caused by our own bad behaviour; by our violence and aggression towards each other and the planet. She sees this behaviour flowing from our unhealed woundedness - or to express it differently, from our emotional traumas. It is only through a new earth consciousness, a deep spirituality that we will be able to build a better, more sustainable future. The solution, therefore, is to rediscover our souls, and transform ourselves both individually and collectively. The expressed mission of the book is to explore healing principles in work places, families and communities. Eleanor Stoneham sees the role of the wounded healer as central to this task - as each of us starts to heal, we can become healers for others on the path.
It's hard to exaggerate the importance and urgency of this message. And the more books that are written on this theme from different philosophical, religious, spiritual, intellectual and experiential perspectives, the more this message will spread, and the greater our hope of survival will become. Hence this book is important. It will appeal most, I think, to those with a religious, particularly Christian, background, but Eleanor Stoneham takes an inclusive approach, drawing on sources from many religious and spiritual traditions besides her own Anglican Church.
As I read, I found myself agreeing with all the major points of the argument - points that I have made in very different ways in my own books, The Science of Oneness and Hope for Humanity. Whether we like it or not, whether we want to or not, we are creating the future of humanity and Earth. Far better to do it consciously, and with deliberate intent, than slip into it down the slippery slope of apathy, denial and the reaction to trauma. As Eleanor Stoneham emphasises, we are all creative in our lives. We have the ability and creativity to solve our problems. Please read this book, and act upon its message.